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Hullabaloo


Thursday, September 29, 2005

 
The Big Squeeze

So Judy got her super-duper-double-special waiver finally and was sprung. Of course, it makes no more sense today than it did two months ago but the NY Times is intent upon keeping up the fiction for their intrepid girl reporter:

... the discussions were at times strained, with Mr. Libby and Mr. Tate asserting that they communicated their voluntary waiver to Ms. Miller's lawyers more than year ago, according to those briefed on the case. Mr. Libby wrote to Ms. Miller in mid-September, saying that he believed her lawyers understood that his waiver was voluntary.

Others involved in the case have said that Ms. Miller did not understand that the waiver had been freely given and did not accept it until she had heard from him directly.


What a bunch of crap. Here's the nut:

In written statements today, Ms. Miller and executives of The New York Times did not identify the source who had urged Ms. Miller to testify. Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, said that Mr. Fitzgerald had assured Ms. Miller's lawyer that "he intended to limit his grand jury interrogation so that it would not implicate other sources of hers."

Mr. Keller said that Mr. Fitzgerald had cleared the way to an agreement by assuring Ms. Miller and her source that he would not regard a conversation between the two about a possible waiver as an obstruction of justice.


First of all, why is Bill Keller involved in this to this degree? He's her editor, not her lawyer. Was he involved in the negotiations or is he reporting the story? If it's the latter, why would that be? Don't they have any reporters who can interview Judy and get the facts?

More importantly it seems obvious now that Jeralyn was right; Judy's real issue was being asked about her other sources under oath. It looks like they came to some sort of agreement about that. (No Bolton?)

It also appears at least possible that Fitzgerald was threatening to charge both Libby and Miller for obstruction of justice for talking to one another --- whether that referred to the conversation noted in the article between the two of them and their lawyers this month or an earlier conversation is unclear.

The question is what Fitzgerald got in return for agreeing not to ask Judy about her lovers ..er sources. And don't think he didn't get something in return.

In case anyone's wondering if Fitzgerald is really the tough guy everyone thinks he is, check out this story from last week about the Governor George Ryan trial in Illinois. You'll notice that he flipped Ryans "political son" by arresting his mistress and squeezing her until she convinced him to testify:

Whether the jury believes Fawell, given his previous vow never to testify against Ryan and subsequent flip-flop when prosecutors put heat on his fiancee, is important for Ryan’s defense.

“I’m still not overly comfortable with participating,” Fawell told a federal judge last Oct. 28 during a teary testimonial to try to keep his mistress-turned-fiancee, Andrea Coutretsis, out of prison. “I don’t relish testifying against George Ryan.”

Fawell, 48, was once the heir to DuPage County political royalty. His mother is Beverly Fawell, a former state legislator. His father is Bruce Fawell, a former chief judge in the county. And his uncle, Harris Fawell, was a respected congressman from Naperville.

Scott Fawell rose through the GOP political ranks rapidly, serving as a driver for then-U.S. Sen. Charles Percy, lobbyist for the tollway authority and campaign operative for then-Gov. Jim Thompson. He ended up working for then-Lt. Gov. Ryan, and helped Ryan win a close race in 1990 for secretary of state.

Ryan rewarded him with the chief of staff job and then the nearly $200,000-a-year plum of running the agency that oversees McCormick Place and Navy Pier.

So if Ryan indeed has figurative bodies buried somewhere, as prosecutors allege, Fawell is in position to know the location. He gave prosecutors a 45-page sworn statement.

Fawell talked about special secretary of state office leases prosecutors say Ryan illegally steered to co-defendant Warner. He also took yearly vacations to Jamaica with Ryan, trips a businessman who got an office lease would reimburse the duo for, according to prosecutors.

Among other things, Fawell also supposedly knows about alleged selling of low-digit license plates for campaign contributions. He helped set up a scheme in which secretary of state workers would do campaign work on state time, prosecutors say. And when it came time to cover up the illegal political activity, prosecutors likely will try to prove Fawell told Ryan about massive document-shredding that was going on.

A jury found Fawell guilty for his part in the corruption scandal. He’s serving a 6¨-year sentence at a federal work camp in Yankton, S.D.

Fawell, however, gave his testimony to prosecutors reluctantly, a fact that Ryan’s defense team undoubtedly will bring to jurors’ attention.

“I’m not going to sell myself out just to save myself,” Fawell said after his sentencing in late June 2003. “I’m not sitting on any bomb of George Ryan’s. I’m not going to go in there and make up stories about him just to save myself, which unfortunately that’s the game (prosecutors) like you to play.”

That, however, was before Fitzgerald’s office charged Coutretsis, formerly of Long Grove. Coutretsis, a mother of two and Fawell’s one-time assistant at McPier, faced a prison sentence for perjury before persuading Fawell to turn on Ryan. In return, she could get six months or probation. Fawell could get six months shaved off his sentence.


Do you think that Fitzgerald was impressed with Judy's "principles" or her desire for a super-special-in-person-blood-oath waiver from Scooter? Right. He didn't do this for meaningless testimony or just for fun. He got something important.



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